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Carbide platen plate

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by pleasanthill, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. pleasanthill

    pleasanthill Time to make the doughnuts.. Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 12, 2015
    So after spending the last 3 hrs hand sanding one side of a blade tonight and still more to go I'm realizing how un flat my flat platen is. I know they sell pyro glass ones which with the size of my platen I'd have to special order. I know it would be pretty pricey, prob close to $100-$150 but what are your thoughts on making one with a 1/16" thick piece of carbide?
  2. kuraki

    kuraki Drinks Pearl in a can. Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 17, 2016
    Can you find carbide cheaper than that?
  3. pleasanthill

    pleasanthill Time to make the doughnuts.. Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 12, 2015
    Not sure. Just had the thought and made the post. I bought 2 strips for making my file guides for $9 each. They were 3/8" X 6". The surface area to it would take for me to make a platen plate would take aprox 15 times that much carbide for a platen of my size. That works out at the price I paid about $135 proportionally. I might check into it and see what/if I could get something that size.
  4. LCoop


    May 5, 2007
    Not sure what your "size" is but you might want to search ebay with "Knife Making Grinding High Temperature Glass Pyroceram aka Robax for Fireplace". they custom cut and kinda weird how you have to request a quote but worked for me.
  5. kuraki

    kuraki Drinks Pearl in a can. Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 17, 2016
    Carbide blanks tend to get more expensive per cubic/square inch rather than less, since the majority of them are used for custom cutting tools or small wear pads.
  6. NC Biker

    NC Biker

    Apr 8, 2014
    My platen is 2"x 9-3/8" and I've never paid more that 15 bucks for a piece of pyroceram cut to fit. I've gotten it from a local glass supplier as well as the ebay guy.
  7. JoshRG

    JoshRG KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 24, 2014
    I had looked into getting a carbide platen some time back as I do not particularly care for the pyroceramic platens. But, cost was very high and simply not worth the investment for me. If i remember correctly it was several hundred dollars for a single platen.

  8. C_Claycomb

    C_Claycomb Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 11, 2000
    I got a glass platen from Darren Ellis in the US, cut and sized 2"x10" for my Coote grinder. It was a bit expensive, especially with posting, and even more so when I followed the advice to use cyano glue, got it wrong and wound up breaking the glass before I had it positioned right. Got a second piece from him and all was good. Wanted to make another platen with a sharper corner for smaller blades and bought a piece of fire place glass from a local UK glass supplier for a lot less money, and it has worked just as well for me. When I say local, I mean I walked into a glass shop on the way to my nearest super market and they were able to cut me a piece for about £20. That was a while ago, but that would be the route I would take if I had to do it again.
  9. Frank Niro

    Frank Niro Basic Member Basic Member

    Sep 10, 2000
    One of the local glass shops cut 5 or 6 for me. They charged me for the total area with no charge for the cutting.
  10. kevin (theprofessor)

    kevin (theprofessor) KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 12, 2009
    USA Knifemaker appears out of stock right now (I need a new liner myself. I cracked mine).

    They are less than 30 dollars, delivered. So, it isn't prohibitive. Not free, but not too bad. Sell a knife and buy a couple and put the one on with JB Weld. You can remove it later with a hand torch (maap or propane).

    good luck,
  11. C_Claycomb

    C_Claycomb Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 11, 2000
    Agree with Kevin, I used JB Weld on the two that I have now and it worked MUCH better than cyano. It had working time!

    The often repeated advice is that if you are fitting any kind of secondary platen by adhesive, you should install a mechanical end-stop so that if the adhesive fails the belt won't drag the platen into the wheel. I don't know how likely that failure is when using JBWeld, but my platen was thick enough to simply drill, tap and fit a bit of 1/8 stainless plate as a stop. Peace of mind alone has been worth the small effort.
  12. Alan Davis Knives

    Alan Davis Knives Knife Maker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 28, 2010
    I used one of the ceramic/Pyrex platens for awhile but got tired of getting shocked all the time. Then got a couple of the hardened platens from Nathan here on BF and never looked back!! After a couple of years of hard use they have barely worn at all.
  13. knife to a gunfight

    knife to a gunfight

    Oct 17, 2007
    I've all but given up on USAKnifeMaker to have anything I need in stock anymore. Not sure if everybody is just buying stuff up that fast, or if they've just given up on inventory. They used to be my first and only stop, but 9 out 10 things I look to buy are invariably out of stock, so hardly bother now. Not to mention, the last glass platen I bought from them looked like the blade was tilted a few degrees when it was trimmed, and the corners were pretty uneven as well from where they knocked the sharp edge down.

    Search Robax on eBay and sort for lowest price. They charge 1.15 per "2x1" section, and IIRC, you order your "quantity" based on the length of 2" wide platen you need. So if your platen is 10" long, you'd order quantity 10, for $11.50, and they'll send a 2"x10" piece of ceramic glass. I've ordered from them a couple of times, and shipping has always been super fast, everything is packed well, and the cuts were perfect. If you need multiple platens, you can leave a note to the seller, or contact them before hand. They're by far the lowest price I've seen anywhere, and quality is as good as I've ever seen.
  14. knife to a gunfight

    knife to a gunfight

    Oct 17, 2007
    A little anti-static spray on the back of the belt every once in a long while would take care of that.
  15. Pinoy Knife

    Pinoy Knife

    Aug 9, 2002
    the carbide idea is not a great one. it can shatter where the Pyroceram will crack. i found a few "Blanks" for file guide size stuff 3/32x1/2 x6
    that was not badly priced but big enough for a platen will likely be about $200. 1/16 might not be thick enough to use,also can't be 100% sure it is dead flat like glass.just my opinion
  16. JTknives

    JTknives KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 11, 2006
    I have looked into the carbide platten idea a while ago and settled on glass. I don't think the carbide is a bad idea at all if you could find it cheap enough. I have used a LOT of carbide in my day as a machinist as well as working for a tool and die shop that made custom tooling from carbide. I don't know where the idea that carbide SHATTERS. It will crack about the same as ceremic and I put my money on the ceremic breaking into more tiny chunks then carbide. Also I would rather handle crooked carbide then broken glass. Yes carbide is brittle but only when compared to things that are not like steel. All the flat stock I have seen has been quite flat because it's designed for making tooling.
  17. pleasanthill

    pleasanthill Time to make the doughnuts.. Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 12, 2015
    Thanks all for the input. Sounds like the only thing would be the price. + 1 with JT on not knowing where the idea that carbide will shatter. Maybe if it were on the end of a high speed rotating tool but on a platen not so much. I just bought some strips a few weeks back and made a file guide with one of the strips. I used an angle grinder with a diamond blade for cutting granite spinning at 10,000 rpm and it din't shatter let alone crack from the reliefs in the blade chattering like all get out. I could only scar it in had to break it with a pair of visegrips and a hammer. 1/16" thick by 3/8" wide.. pretty strong stuff. I'll +1 with JT as well on handling a crooked edge of carbide over glass.
  18. Nathan the Machinist

    Nathan the Machinist KnifeMaker / Machinist / Evil Genius Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 13, 2007
    I don't think carbide is going to shatter. It's used on the tip of masonry hammer bits used to smash holes through brick, I think it can handle a little grinding. Probably more than 10 times stronger and more durable than glass.
  19. Jason Fry

    Jason Fry KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 5, 2008
    I have used glass from USA Knifemaker. Finally noticed a bit of dishing/wear after three or four years, and I had a few chips on the edge of the glass as well. Put a torch to it, melted the epoxy, and took off the glass. Cleaned it up, flipped it over, and now I'm using the other side. Seems too cheap and simple for carbide to be worth it, IMO.

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